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New Federal Building Named For Famed Mississippi Civil Rights Murder

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 21 Jun 2011 05:04pm | comments
Family members of the victims unveil the sign.

Three slain civil rights workers and the F-B-I agent that investigated their deaths are honored in Jackson. M-P-B's Jeffrey Hess reports that a new F-B-I office is named the James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and Roy K. Moore Federal Building.

 

James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were killed 47 years ago this week while doing civil rights work near Philadelphia, Mississippi.

 

The murders caused national outrage, drove the 1964 civil rights law and led to appointment of Roy K. Moore to take charge the Mississippi F-B-I and help clean up the state.

 

Congressman Bennie Thompson successfully persuaded congress to name a new federal building outside Jackson in honor of the four men.

 

"Those families paid a supreme sacrifice by giving up those young men at such an early age. So this, I felt, was the right thing to do. And I am happy to say that congress also felt that it was the right thing to do because they supported it," Thompson said.

 

Families of the victims and Roy Moore gathered at the building on Tuesday to officially unveil the new sign naming the building.

 

Angela Lewis, the only daughter of James Chaney, says the recognition is long overdue.

 

"I am very proud of the work that he did. There is a deep sense of loss and I miss him very much and I would have loved the opportunity to get to know him. But I am very proud of what he did and that he found his passion in life," Lewis said.

 

David Goodman was 17 years old when his brother Andrew was murdered....He says he had complicated feelings about his brother's death but thinks it taught him an important lesson.

 

"There are always some bad people some place. But basically we are a great nation full of good people and the state of Mississippi has shown the rest of the country what you can do positively. And that is really the message," Goodman said.

 

FBI agent Roy Moore lived until 2008; long enough to see than 80-year old Edgar Ray Killen convicted of three counts of manslaughter in 2005 for planning the murders and sentenced to 60 years in prison.

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Family members of the victims unveil the sign.


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